Poetry; Dance; Choreopoem; Video Motion Analysis
In 1975, Ntozake Shange debuted For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf establishing a new intermedia genre: the choreopoem. A choreopoem is a unique approach to storytelling that departs from Western poetry by incorporating emphases on movement and nonverbal communication, using embodied emotion to connect with audiences. Shange’s innovation is continued through the work of Jessica Care Moore (poet) and Aku Kadogo (choreographer, Spelman College) who has developed a techno-choreopoem entitled Salt City. The work celebrates Black culture in Detroit: “the African-American presence in the city … [and] techno-music that was pioneered by African-American men straight out of the Detroit Metropolitan Area” (McFadden and Kadogo 2017). Kadogo was a founding member of the cast of Shange’s For Colored Girls and has worked in the genre for forty years. This presentation analyzes the realization of ideas and text as embodied cognition through a digital case-study of Kadogo’s performance practice. Using annotated audiovisual recordings, movements are tracked through 3D video motion analysis (VMA) and correlated with performance texts and commentary from the authors, performers and audience.
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Conference: National Council for Black Studies Dates: March 14-17, 2018 Location: Atlanta, GA